Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)
An Independent Mental Health advocate can help you if you have any restrictions put on you by The Mental Health Act – these can be if you are detained under certain sections, have a Community Treatment Order, a Guardianship Order or for support with some treatments. An IMHA will meet with you and ensure that you are aware of your rights under the Act. They can help you speak to staff and managers or appeal the details of your restrictions.
An IMHA can also attend a tribunal with you to ensure that your rights are upheld, and that you are able to participate fully in the process.
You have a legal right to see an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) and we have IMHA’s at every inpatient unit in the area. Please look for one of our posters on the ward, speak to ward staff or your Community Nurse, or call us directly.
We provide a specialist IMHA service at Ravenswood and Southfields medium secure unit. Support is provided to patients who need advocacy during their stay. For more information, please contact the Ravenswood team on 01329 836167.
We provide a specialist service to young people in Bluebird House and Leigh House who need advocacy support. Contact details for referrals for this service coming soon, but young people can self refer to the advocate who attends regularly.
How to access this service:
This is a self-referral service; alternatively you can ask to be referred by hospital or social care staff, or a family member. You can self-refer using the referral form here or contact us by telephone on 02380 208951 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please use this Accessing Statutory Advocacy flowchart to check if you have a legal entitlement to advocacy (professionals can use it to check if they have a legal duty to offer advocacy).